Wayne County Jail Moves to Redesign Phase

DETROIT — The Wayne County commission voted to move forward with the initial redesign phase of the Wayne County jail project in exchange for dropping lawsuits that the county filed against Dearborn, Mich.-based Ghafari Associates and Los Angeles-headquartered AECOM Services who were working on the 1,976-bed jail project. The two companies will redesign the jail to take up less space using two design options: a 1,944-bed facility and a 1,504-bed facility.

Both firms will pay for developing concept plans, preliminary inspections and evaluating the unfinished jail as well as provide construction cost estimates if the county tries to redesign the jail. This agreement comes after the firms had failed to disclose that construction of the proposed new jail would be at least $41 million.

Concept plans and cost estimates are due by Feb. 29. As part of the agreement, the county can reject either of the two design options and refile a lawsuit against the firms if cost estimates exceed $175 million.

Earlier this month, the Detroit Free Press was finally able to release a report of an audit that showed the cost details of the project. The Free Press had fought for 15 months, suing the county to release the report.

Allegations of misconduct regarding the jail project led to charges against three people, including Bloomfield Hills builder Anthony Parlovecchio, county Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel Steve Collins and former Chief Financial Officer Carla Sledge, according to the Detroit Free Press. Charges against Parlovecchio and Collins have been dismissed, but the case is pending against Sledge.